We don’t talk a lot about vows and oaths in our society. The closest we come to “oath-taking” is when a witness is sworn in before taking the stand. They swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth – “so help you God.” Then they are considered “under oath.”

But then you hear people caught in a lie say things like, “I swear to God!” So if you swear on the Bible, you are bound by that oath, but if you swear to God then it doesn’t really mean anything… Hmm…

I don’t know about you, but if someone has to add I swear, I promise, or I’m not gonna lie, then that really makes me wonder how honest of a person they are. If they don’t add in those phrases am I to assume they are “gonna lie.”

The other time we think of vows and such is in the context of a wedding ceremony. The bride and the groom exchange their vows to each other in the sight of witnesses and then seal those vows with a ring. Yet how soon after the honeymoon are those vows forgotten? How long does it take for the husband to start looking at other women again? How long does it take for the wife to nag about money issues?

You can see just how seriously we take our “vows” by simply checking out the divorce rate. Last time I checked our vows don’t address allow “irreconcilable differences,” whatever that means, as an escape clause.

What about the vow we make before God. When we confess that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; when we repent of our sins and pursue righteousness; and when we are submerged in the water and are pulled back up we are publicly stating our vows to God.

Jesus, I will follow you no matter what the cost.

Spirit, I will go wherever you lead me.

God, everything I have is yours.

For better or worse, in wealth and in poverty, in sickness and health, in safety and in persecution, in foreign countries, in homeless shelters, in church, on sports teams, at work – God, I am yours and yours only. I will keep myself only to You for as long as I live.

What about THAT vow? How many of us delay in fulfilling our vows to God? How many of us make deals with God – I’ll follow you when (x) happens. When I’m through college. When I’ve got a job. When I get married. When I have kids. When I’ve got the car and the house paid off. When the kids are gone. When I retire.

Time and time again people came up to Jesus wanting to follow him, but more often than not there was something holding them back – I just got married. I just bought some land. I just got some new farm equipment. I want to wait until my father is dead.

“When you make a vow to God, do not delay to fulfill it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow. It is better not to make a vow than to make one and not fulfill it.” {Ecclesiastes 5:4-5

Maybe it’s time that you renewed you vows to God. Make 2013 the year that you fulfill your vow.